Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Easter Weekend

Ohhhhh Jesus. I am so fat. I have eaten my own bodyweight in chocolate and done no exercise (save some golf) since Thursday. I'm not counting squash on Friday, as with 6 of us there really wasn't a chance to work up a sweat.

On the other hand, I did have a lovely time. On Saturday, Koi and Pro arrived in time for lunch, which we had in St Andrews at the new restaurant in the Golf Hotel. The Golf has been taken over by Hotel du Vin, so we had high hopes. Unfortunately, I could only give them a rating of 6/10. It's all very new, so they're ironing out some kinks - but I don't think it's forgiveable to have a waitress taking your order then interrupt herself to answer the telephone. For a start, I don't think there should be a loud, persistent telephone in the restaurant disturbing diners anyway. Secondly, I'm getting incredibly cheesed off with the modern notion that the telephone comes first. In shops and restaurants you're constantly being interrupted in service because the assistant takes a call. Hey, I was there first! Telephoners are constantly queue jumping. Are we not British? Is queueing not sacrosanct? Is it not one of our greatest skills? Outrageous stuff. Anyway, I ordered calve's liver as a main course, which proved a major, major error as it was downright nasty. Luckily my starter of haddock chowder was delicious, while Fisher's starter of chicken liver parfait was divine. Pro's haddock-mashed-potato on toast was downright strange, and Koi wasn't entirely impressed with her starter either. She did have a really nice fish pie as main, but it was too vast. Why give someone more food than they can possibly eat? It's just an ostentatious display of gluttony, which puts you off.

After lunch, Pro and I went off to see if we couldn't get his golf clubs sorted out. It's my 30th birthday present to him, and has taken aeons to organise. This time wasn't much easier. Auchterlonies, whom we'd visited some weeks ago to be told the fitter wasn't there, now told us we had to go to the Old Course driving range, where Calloway has a factory shop. Auchterlonies were going to set up a fitting with Ping, but it wouldn't get done until Tuesday so the helpful guy told us to chance our arm just showing up at Calloway's. So we did - and the chap there fitted us in on Sunday at 4pm. Fantastic!

In the mood for golf, Pro and I went down to Drumoig and hit some balls at the range while Koi and Fisher entertained themselves. We had a supper of cold meats, salad and cheese, then went to bed. Next morning it was all go as I set myself to preparing Easter Sunday lunch for 8. I'd told people 1pm for eating, so if people could be there any time before that, fantastic. Blarney and Spartan told Fisher they'd be there at around 12, so I knew I was safe to get the food ready to eat at 1pm. I made a couple of cracks about the fact that Spar and Blar would almost certainly not arrive until teatime - but seeing as they said 12, I was pretty sure there was enough leeway.

Not so. While I was showering and changing, getting the sweat of hot-stove-slaving off and making myself slightly smarter than PJs, Koi got a message saying Spar and Blar were 'on their way' and due to arrive 'around 1pm.'

Naturally, I was not best pleased. I sent a text to ask where exactly they were, so I could judge for myself whether 1pm was likely, but my text went ignored. So did my calls to both mobiles. I then asked Koi to phone, thinking they may be ignoring me because they didn't want a row. She was ignored too. I phoned again, and either Blarney decided she really couldn't ignore me any more or they eventually heard the ring, so we had a brief word. They were at the Glenrothes roundabout, so about 30 minutes away, putting them arriving just as I was supposed to be serving food. I duly turned the lamb down, waving goodbye to the hopes of a crispy skin, and told myself not to be irritated. Blarney told me Spartan was sure I'd said 1.30pm, and I suppose it's possible - but it's also a fact that they told us they'd arrive around 12, so I cooked with that in mind. Adjusting cooking times to fit in with when Blarney turns up is a bit of a running theme to my cooking anyway (see Phid's restaurant night post, May 2007) so I suppose I really ought to expect it by now. She informed me they wanted to kill me, also, so it's probably a good thing we didn't make a big deal of it when they turned up and got their food put in front of them at their leisure. Anyway, neither of them read my blog, so I get to let off steam about it here. Ha ha.

Despite this slight setback, lunch was a jovial affair. The lamb was overdone, but nobody else seemed to notice and I wasn't going to draw attention to it.

After a long, leisurely lunch, I went into St Andrews with Pro, Spar and Arrow to get Pro's fitting done and have a bit of a smack on the driving range. The Old Course driving range is £7 for 100 balls! Outrageous - but then, they also have hoppers in which you dump your balls, and the tee emerges from the gound with your ball on it, like some sort of telepathic miracle. Pro got a fitting for free in the funky Calloway shop, with its computer that measures the generation of head speed and stuff. Pro, without even trying, generates a head speed of over 90mph - so when he learns how to really hit a ball he's going to be goddamned impossible to beat! He'll knock it 300 yards in his sleep. If I get a ball 250 yards, with roll, I'm a very happy bunny indeed.

The driving range was fun. We mocked Spartan for taking, literally, twice as long as the rest of us.

"Sorry," he said, "but you guys are so fast!"

"Yes," Pro agreed, "but then, unlike you, I'm not an 84 year old woman with blue hair." We laughed, not immoderately.

"Really?" Spar intoned, with brows raised. "That's not what it looks like from your swing."

We laughed, even less immoderately - at which the ball-buggy drove past, two feet in front of us, picking up dropped balls.

"Here he comes now, Pro," Spar grinned, "picking up all your drives."

Two women approached and stopped in the corridor as we were blocking it, watching Spar.

"Sorry," Pro said, making room. "We're just waiting for my grandmother to finish."

Ah banter. How I love it.

After the driving range was eventually done (and, I'd like to point out that the reason Spar takes so much longer is that he can actually hit a good drive 9 times out of 10 while the rest of us flail incompetently) we popped to the Jigger for a swift pint - then home to where the others had been playing a lot of cards. Arrow and Lu went home and I fed people bread, cheese and whatever scraps were left in the fridge. I was seriously NOT hungry - but ate a vast plateful of cheese and bread anyway.


On Easter Monday, Pro, Spar and I went to Elmwood golf course for a round. It was freezing! The icy wind blowing straight from the Arctic made some of the more exposed holes deeply unpleasant. Almost as unpleasant as watching Spar's drives fizz straight and true towards the hole while my own, more often than not, skidded left right and centre. I really wasn't having a good time of it - although I did manage a few fair shots, just to keep me hooked. Spar was kind enough to praise my swing, but pointed out that I was bringing the club head too far back. I tried a shorter swing and, lo, it worked - but he only pointed it out on about hole 8, so I didn't have very long to implement the changes. Pro was hitting some very fine drives, too - especially one on 7, which went right to the edge of the green. We were, however, complained about by some officious little bastards behind us who said we were holding up play. Rubbish. They were miffed because we only had 2 bags between 3 so Spar had to run to wherever I was to pick up a club. But they only had to wait on 2 holes, and then for only a short period. The club official was quite apologetic about it - especially when I pointed out that we're adults, and all they had to do was come up to us and ask to play through, rather than sending 'teacher' to scold us. The reason they didn't send anyone was because they were never close enough to actually reach us - which means we weren't holding them up enough for a complaint. Wankers. Plus, after the complaint we never had a single opportunity where we could let them play through. There were 4 of them, and they were taking even longer than us.

Good fun, though, despite the presence of my nemesis - 'Other People'. No doubt, Spar is in a very different leage to Pro and me (i.e - he can play) but it only makes me more determined to have some lessons and actually get better.

After shivering our way round 9 holes, we went home and picked up the others in order to head into St Andrews for some lunch. Fisher had booked us in at the West Port in St Andrews, so off we went. Traffic was a nightmare. With my usual parking karma we found a 'space' right outside the pub - while Spar had to circle for ages, then discover he'd left his wallet at ours so had only 75p for an 85p parking ticket, meaning Blar had to run out and take him 10p. Luckily we were all seated by the time our food came - and it was good stuff. I'd definitely recommend the West Port to visitors to St Andrews - although I don't like the main bar, which has individual TVs alongside some of the booths. Why would you want to watch TV when out for lunch with friends? Bizarre.

After our nice lunch, Pro and I went back to Auchterlonies to give them Pro's spec and order up some clubs. They're much more reasonable than I imagined, which is great news, and should be with us in a week to 10 days. I can't wait to see them, all shiny and new! I think I'll try and organise a lesson for when they arrive, so then we can go out together and get a golf ejucation - maybe Arrow would like to come too, then go out for a round after? Genius. Sounds great. Will see if I can arrange it.

Blar and Spar headed home after lunch, so it was just Pro and Koi who came home with us. They had a cup of tea and then departed. Poor Koi was suffering with tonsilitis all weekend, and just felt rubbish. We plied her with copious amounts of my hot toddies and Neurofen, but there's really no substitute for your own bed and the comfort of your own home, so I imagine she was quite keen to get back. I hope she's feeling a bit better today, and has got some antibiotics from the doc to knock it on the head.

Once everyone had gone home, I was able to succumb totally to the headache I'd been fighting all day. I flopped in the sitting room while Fisher, bless every single on of her adorable cotton socks, did all the tidying. I really did intend to do most of it myself, but I can't lie: I was thrilled to be allowed to soothe my throbbing head with a migraine cool-strip and sit quietly watching taped footie and Lost. We were in bed by 1, and fast asleep by 1.45 (at least, I was), and I awoke this morning feeling much refreshed - and determined not to eat anything for the rest of my life. Apart from the large bowl of chocolate frosties I ate for breakfast. Dammit! Still - going to the gym in a minute or two, so at least my exercise regime is back on track.

We have an adorable (so far!) dog called Holly staying. She's a whippet cross, a rescue dog, and really sweet. She hates our wooden floors, though, and it takes some effort to get her to walk on them. Could prove mildly problematic ...

Ok, that's all folks. Sorry - not a very entertaining post. I'm still a bit brain dead.


Anonymous said...

never read your blog?? that may well have been the case but given that you may be slagging us off in all available posts, I'll have to make it a daily task! Late....not overly - lamb - tasted divine (overcooked my arse, but then what do I know?).

We agreed 12.00 did we..? this is perhaps true but if you heard this from me then it should, of course, have been dismissed instantly!


An incredibly grateful Helen still on good form after a tip-top weekend

Seshat said...

Ha! I knew I'd getcha!
Tee hee ... you know you're always welcome, no matter how late you show up, demanding food be placed instantly in front of you.